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Barcelona in Trouble: Spanish Police Raid Referee Offices As Part Of Corruption Investigation

Barcelona in Trouble: Spanish Police Raid Referee Offices As Part Of Corruption Investigation



Barcelona in Trouble: Spanish Police Raid Referee Offices As Part Of Corruption Investigation

29 September 2023

Spanish police have raided the offices of the referees' committee as part of an investigation into Barcelona's alleged corrupt payments to an official. Continue Reading…

Barcelona are facing charges of corruption over payments made to Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira, a former vice-president of the committee, in return for favourable refereeing decisions. Uefa is also investigating the matter.

Barcelona deny any wrongdoing and no arrests were made during the search in Madrid.

The Spanish Civil Guard searched the Spanish Technical Committee of Referees (CTA) headquarters on Thursday. BBC Sport has been told that the judge presiding over the case demanded documentation from the CTA. This was not sent, which prompted the raid.

The initial criminal investigation was brought by the Barcelona public prosecutor's office in March, with European football's governing body Uefa launching its own investigation shortly after.

It is alleged that Barcelona paid 8.4m euros (£7.4m) to Negreira and his Dasnil 95 company.

The payments were initially investigated as part of a tax probe into the company run by Negreira.

Barcelona made payments to the company totalling a reported 1.4m euros (£1.2m) between 2016 and 2018, and paid Negreira about 7m euros (£6.2m) between 2001 and 2018, the year he left his role with the referees’ committee.

Barcelona acknowledged they had paid Dasnil 95, which it described as “an external technical consultant”, to compile video reports on referees “with the aim of complementing the information required by the coaching staff”.

They said paying for reports was “a habitual practice among professional clubs”.

In February 18 of the 19 other La Liga clubs issued a statement expressing “deep concern”.

In July Uefa provisionally cleared Barcelona to play in this season's Champions League while its investigation is ongoing.

What will happen to Barcelona if they are found guilty?

According to Football Daily, UEFA is investigating the case of Barcelona's potential financial irregularities. If found guilty, Barcelona could be kicked out of the UEFA Champions League and banned from playing in LaLiga.


Analysis

This is a very serious development for Barcelona and the refereeing committee in Spain. If the allegations are proven to be true, it could have a major impact on the club's reputation and could lead to significant sanctions.

It is important to note that Barcelona have not been found guilty of any wrongdoing at this stage. However, the fact that the police have raided the referees' committee offices suggests that they believe there is a strong case to investigate.

Uefa's decision to provisionally clear Barcelona to play in the Champions League was controversial, but it is understandable given that the investigation is still ongoing. However, if Barcelona are found guilty of corruption, they could face exclusion from the competition.

This case is a reminder of the importance of transparency and accountability in football. The refereeing committee must be able to operate independently and without any outside interference. Barcelona must also be able to explain their payments to Negreira in a satisfactory manner.

It will be interesting to see how this case unfolds in the coming weeks and months.

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